Iowa's legacy for future generations depends on thriving wildlife habitat, clean water, and productive agricultural soils for all Iowans to enjoy. The Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, created by an overwhelming majority of Iowa voters in 2010, is a permanent and constitutionally protected funding source to ensure these natural resources are preserved for generations to come. But the Trust sits empty, as it has since the constitutional amendment was passed, unable to deliver on its promise for natural resources and outdoor recreation. Now is the time to fund the Trust during the 2015 legislative session – legislators need to approve a 3/8 of one percent increase to state sales tax, providing $150 million in revenue for the trust annually.
Let’s Protect Iowa’s Natural Areas for Future Generations:
• Roughly half of Iowa’s rivers, lakes, and streams fail to meet water quality standards
• Less than 10 percent of Iowa’s wetlands remain, amounting to a loss of 5 million acres
• Over the last two decades, Iowa has lost more than 1.6 million acres of habitat suitable for pheasants and other small game
• Iowa loses an average of 5 tons per acre of soil, the state’s major economic engine, each year to erosion
Once funded, the Trust Fund guarantees that money in the Trust be allocated as shown in the graph above. As a constitutionally protected fund, it prevents money in the fund from being diverted for other uses; providing reliable funding for clean water and watershed protection, conservation practices, wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation.